NEW DELHI — Once a close aide of Arvind Kejriwal, former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti seems to have fallen out with the Aam Aadmi Party chief following the unholy mess surrounding a domestic violence case lodged by his wife. The Delhi Chief Minister finally broke his silence on Wednesday and asked his colleague to surrender to the police.
"Why is he running away? Why is he so scared of going to jail?" Kejriwal tweeted. In a scathing criticism of the AAP MLA, Kejriwal said Bharti is becoming an embarrassment to the party.
Somnath shud surrender.Why is he running away?Why is he so scared of gng to jail? Now he is becoming embarasment for party n his family(1/2)— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 23, 2015
He shud cooperate wid police(2/2)— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 23, 2015
Politicians and Delhi Commission for Women had earlier questioned Kejriwal's silence over Bharti's case. The AAP MLA is facing charges of domestic violence and attempt to murder, following a complaint by his wife Lipika Mitra, who has alleged that her husband had unleashed his dog on her, a charge Bharti has repeatedly denied.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court dismissed Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea saying that his past cases showed that he is "violent and outrageous" at home and in public.
Two special teams of south-west district police carried out raids at both his office and residence in Malviya Nagar, but the lawmaker remained elusive.
"A team of Delhi Police officers raided his house in Malviya Nagar and his office but he was found absconding from both places," joint commissioner of police Deependra Pathak told IANS.
At 11.30 am, the first team, with eight to ten officers, reached Bharti’s office at Khirki Extension, while another team reached his home.
“Investigators were waiting for the high court’s decision…after his plea was rejected, the investigating officer informed senior officers, including deputy commissioner of police (south-west) R A Sanjeev. They discussed various strategies and decided to conduct raids at Bharti’s residence and office,” the police told Indian Express.
However, when Bharti couldn't be found, the Delhi police detained his aide.
The aide said Bharti was in his office till Tuesday morning and left it by the time police came looking for him after his plea for anticipatory bail was rejected.
"10-12 police personnel came looking for him an hour after the bail plea was rejected by the high court. They also snatched away our mobile phones and went through every nook and corner of the office," an aide of Bharti alleged, adding he was approaching the Supreme Court immediately.
Now, as many as 50 officers and eight police teams are part of a manhunt. In order to track down Bharti, each police team has been given a different task.
While one team has been been instructed to question his close friends from IIT Delhi, another team has been asked to question his relatives and AAP workers, reports Indian Express.